Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shut Parliament, suppress the truth

'GET BACK TO WORK': Thousands on Facebook join constitutional experts to condemn PM's move

Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression
Adapted from War of Illusions.

1. Dummy up. If it's not news, it didn't happen.

2. Wax indignant. Become enraged. Attack.

3. Call the charges 'rumours.' Those who believe them are 'paranoid' or 'hysterical.'

4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up rumours (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5. Call the skeptics names. Use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges while praising as 'more reasonable' the government and its defenders. Avoid fair and open debate with those you have maligned.

6. Impugn motives. Marginalize the critics by suggesting that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are only in it for themselves.

7. Invoke authority. Here your stable of pundits and retired officials can be very useful.

8. Dismiss the charges as 'old news.'

9. Come half-clean. This is also known as a 'limited hangout.' Create the impression of candor while you admit only to what is harmless.

10. Characterize the issues as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11. Reason backward. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant.

12. Require your critics to come up with the answers to their own questions.

13. Change the subject. Create and/or publicize distractions.

14. Lightly acknowledge incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them.

15. Baldly and brazenly lie. Attribute 'truth' to plausible-sounding but anonymous sources.

16. Expanding on 4 and 5, have your own stooges 'expose' scandals and champion popular causes.

17. Flood online comments forums with your trolls.